[Frontiers in Bioscience 10, 2430-2446, September 1, 2005]

NOVEL TESTIS/SPERM- SPECIFIC CONTRACEPTIVE TARGETS IDENTIFIED USING GENE KNOCKOUT STUDIES

Rajesh K. Naz and Preeti Rajesh

Reproductive Immunology and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The West Virginia University , School of Medicine, Health Science Center , Morgantown ,WV 28506-9186

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Discussion
3.1. Gene-knockouts that cause defect in sperm structure, function, and/or motility
3.2. Gene-knockouts that cause defect in spermatogenesis
3.3. Gene-knockouts that cause defect in testis development and endocrine milieu
3.4. Gene-knockouts that cause defect in fertilization
3.5. Gene-knockouts that cause defect in mating behavior
4. Conclusion
5. Acknowledgements
6. References

1. ABSTRACT

The population explosion and unintended pregnancies resulting in elective abortions continue to be the major public health issues in spite of availability of current methods of contraception. There is an urgent need for a better method of contraception that is accepted, effective, and available. Various targets are being investigated that can be used for contraception. The gene knockout technology is a powerful approach to identify such novel targets. Using search in the database, at least 93 genes were identified in the literature whose deletion demonstrated an effect on fertility in male mice. However, majority of these knockouts also demonstrated an effect on non-reproductive organs concomitant with an effect on fertility. The knockouts of only a few genes/proteins induced a specific effect on fertility without a serious side effect. The potential role of these novel genes/proteins in contraception/contraceptive vaccine development is discussed.